SIU clears Gananoque officer for tackling police station escapee

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

GANANOQUE – The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has cleared an officer of any criminal wrongdoing after a man in a holding cell tried to escape the police station.

A 36-year-old man was arrested and jailed at the police station on a charge of theft of a motor vehicle on March 5.

During his time in the cell, officers noticed on the video monitor that the accused was “wrapping his belt around his neck as a ligature.” The man had been allowed to keep his belt because “his pants would fall without it,” the report reads.

When an officer went in the cell to remove the man’s belt, he pushed past the officer and ran toward the booking area “when he was pushed from behind by the officer into a metal table,” breaking two of the man’s ribs.

There was a subsequent struggle with two officers before the accused was returned to the cell block.

Director Joseph Martino determined that “there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the man’s arrest and the two broken ribs he sustained.”

The case is closed.